Hot filling is a bottle filling process that is widely used in automated filling lines these days. The process is a choice for many beverages because it provides a range of benefits
In this two-part post, we’ll help you get to know hot filling just a little bit better. In part one of our post we’ll focus on how hot filling technology works while part two will look at some of the benefits of this popular filling process and what it is best used for.
How does hot filling work?
The process of hot filling involves several steps but at its essence the contents of the bottle are heated to sterilise the product prior to being poured into the bottle.
The process starts when the beverage is heated to the hot filling temperature of between 190 – 203 F (or 90 – 95 C) in a heat exchanger for at least 15 – 30 seconds.
The liquid is then cooled to around 180 – 185 F (82 – 85 C) and filled at the filling station. In some instances, nitrogen is introduced during this phase to remove oxygen and assist in curbing oxidisation.
The bottle is then sealed immediately and inverted so that the closure is also sterilised with the hot liquid touching the inside surface. The bottle then moves into a cooling station where it is cooled rapidly which helps preserve the product taste and nutritional properties.
The hot filling process can be done with glass or heat resistant plastics like heat-set PET.
Don’t miss part two of our post where we look at some of the benefits of hot filling and what it’s best used for.
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